Two, Four, Six

Police Badge Numbers From Dudley

Small metal numbers were once used to signify the badge numbers of police officers. Using the small holes or loops, the numbers were hand-sewn to the high, stiff, and uncomfortable collar of an officer’s tunic.

These particular numbers —two fours and a six—were found in the desk of Albert Edward Wallbank (1887-1953), an officer at Dudley Police Station in the Lake Macquarie district. His career began in 1913 when he became a Constable for the New South Wales Police Force. In 1921, he took up his post in Dudley. Nearly three decades later, after establishing himself as a major part of the local community, he retired.

A photograph of Wallbank, taken at some point prior to his promotion to Senior Constable in 1945, depicts the numbers ‘1724’ on his collar. While it is possible that these numbers once belonged to Wallbank himself, it seems strange that he would have been issued with a different set of badge numbers during his career.

Perhaps these three badges were set aside in Wallbank’s desk drawer as spares or remained after the resignation of a previous officer?